The imposing summits of Snowdonia are a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. But while steep edges and snowy scrambles might be ideal for experienced adventurers, they can be forbidding for family groups.
Fortunately, there are fantastic parks around the region that offer accessible excitement to visitors young and old. So whether you’re bringing a budding mountain bike superstar, the next David Attenborough, or simply fancy some fun in the foothills, there is plenty to enjoy!
From rides and slides, to puzzles and indoor play areas, there is plenty of amusement on offer at GreenWood, including the Green Dragon rollercoaster – the first in the world to be powered solely by the bodyweight of the riders. Propelled along the 250-metre track through the woods by gravity alone, this ride actually generates more electricity that it uses!
Named the best family attraction in North Wales multiple times, children with an appreciation for animals will love the rabbit village and you can have competitions to see who can spot the resident peacocks.
Britain’s first purpose-built mountain bike centre is a must. Welsh for ‘Kings Trees’, the rugged woodland at Coed y Brenin provides a striking setting for the various trails, that range from child-friendly blue grades all the way to red and black trails for advanced riders.
Our regional expert, Steve Beech, runs Beics Brenin, the designated cycle shop for the park, where you can hire bikes, explore the shop and enrol onto special events. There are also handy route maps and tips ready to download from the website.
The park is also popular with hikers, and there are a number of running trails too. As Steve says, ‘the mountain bike trails speak for themselves, but orienteering courses, forest walks, the play park, animal puzzle trail and a great cafe all make for a fabulous fun day out with the family.’
Kids will love getting to know the animals at Gypsy Wood Park in Caernarfon. But while you can count on an introduction to the sheep and goats, the park’s mythical creatures prove a little more elusive. Embark on the Fairy Hunt to see if you can spot any of the local sprites.
Perhaps the best way to view the 20-acre woodland is aboard the Gypsy Wood Express. Powered by an electric motor, Woody’s Train carries up to 24 passengers and passes many of the park’s attractions along the way. And if you’d rather muddy your boots a little, the Wetland Walk is a fun, gentle journey through marshes and wooded swamps.
A huge, 800-acre site, the glacially formed Llyn Padarn Lake is a beautiful attraction. Inhabited by the rare and ancient fish, Arctic Charr, the lake is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Explore the flora and fauna of the area or the host of attractions within the park boundaries. For an educative afternoon, the Quarry Hospital Museum and Welsh Slate Museum are close at hand or, if you fancy getting out on the water, activity centres such as Padarn Adventures offer kayaking and loads of outdoor pursuits for family groups.
This multi-purpose adventure centre in Pwllheli offers both outdoor and indoor attractions that will get your blood pumping and test your precision. Budding petrol heads will be particularly excited by the prospect of zooming around the go kart track, or off-roading on the quad bike trail. The motorised fun isn’t limited to land, with wakeboarding also among the more popular attractions. While age limits apply, the sheer variety of activities means that there is something for everyone.
Technical challenges such as bowling and archery are sure to bring out everyone’s competitive streaks, while the more patient may opt for a day of coarse fishing on the fresh water lake. Toddlers will enjoy the ball pool in the soft play area adjacent to the on-site dining facility.